Francois Koch studied commercial art in 1963 at the Johannesburg School of Art in Johannesburg, South Africa. After working as an illustrator, he became frustrated and left the field in 1974. He then began a professional career as a fine art painter of landscapes and wildlife.
Over the next 22 years, Koch established himself as one of the most renowned landscape and wildlife artists in South Africa, enjoying numerous commissions and many sold-out one-man shows. Now a United States citizen, he first came to America in 1996 on a scouting tour to explore the art scene. He returned in 1998 and again in 2000, when he had his first one-man show at Settlers West Galleries in Tucson, Arizona, which sold out before opening day. This success was repeated during shows in 2002 and 2004.
Koch loves the American Southwest region, which offers a variety of landscapes to paint. In a November 2007 Western Art Collector magazine article, he said, “When I travel, I do take reference pictures, and then when I get back home I go through them. On the scene I do sketches in my mind. You get an idea that inspires you, but in the end it is your vision, it’s what you make of it.”